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Batumi, Georgia - Guns, Raptors & Rain.
Written by Jos   

Driven by a quirk of geography, funnelled by the Black Sea to the west and the Caucasian Mountains to the east, the Batumi area of eastern Georgia sees one of the greatest raptor migrations in the World - in a short two-month period, over a million birds of prey use this bottleneck, Honey Buzzards, Steppe Buzzards and Black Kites accounting for the bulk, though no shortage of assorted eagles, harriers and hawks adding to the variety.

A spectacle indeed, over a 100,000 raptors can pass overhead on a good day, flocks thermalling on the low hills or drifting south along the coast, truly a great migration. Even on a moderate day, counts of  20,000 to 30,000 are commonplace and, to add spice, regular Bee-eaters and Rollers migrate through, along with Black Storks and occasional surprises such as a flock of over 3000 Black-winged Pratincoles in September 2014.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 October 2014 )
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Flavour of Raptors. September 2014.
Written by Jos   

Red-footed Falcon

 

 

 

Red-footed Falcons, migrating White-tailed Eagles, Lesser Spotted Eagles overhead, all part of the impressive mix of raptors marking the first few days of September on my Labanoras plot. And then, upping the ante, a little excursion to Georgia in mid-September adding Pallid Harrier, Levant Sparrowhawk and Honey Buzzard to the mix.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 September 2014 )
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Kazakhstan, Lands of the Pallas's Sandgrouse.
Written by Jos   

Grey Marmot

 

 

Explorations into Central Asia, this eleven-day trip to southern Kazakhstan was my first to the region and focussed on the high Tian Shan mountains and the vast expanses of semi-desert that stretch to the north. With species including Pallas's Sandgrouse, Ibisbill, White-tailed Rubythroat and Altai Accentor, this 2014 trip was truly memorable.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 August 2014 )
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